COI digital budget on the rise

The Central Office of Information (COI) will increasingly turn to digital media and the opportunities for “democratisation and accountability” digital channels bring to help deliver public information campaigns for less money.

The COI’s annual report shows government spending on digital marketing through the COI increased to £44m in 2009/2010, a 10% increase on the £40m spent in the previous financial year.

COI chief executive Mark Lund says digital media “offers the exciting potential of greater engagement with citizens at a lower cost”.

He adds: “Over the past year we have greatly expanded our use of digital channels, particularly social media, and we are developing more innovative ways to support the better use of digital tools and methods such as open-source consultations and engagement, and mobile technology.”

Direct and relationship marketing also received an increase in spend, up to £60m from £45.6m in the previous financial year.

Increases in direct and digital marketing spend were countered by a drop in outlay on advertising. Advertising expenditure on mediums including television, press and radio accounted for £193m in 2009/2010, compared to £211m in 2008/9.

Direct and digital marketing bodies claim that the channels are targeted, accountable and cost-effective at a time when marketing budgets are under scrutiny in the public and private sector.

Lund says: “COI must play its part in helping reduce the deficit. This year we are more focused than ever on achieving outcomes at a much lower cost.”

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